Having trouble reading this email? Click here to view in your browser. July 2011 


Bending Murphy's Law

You know Murphy's Law: If anything can go wrong, it will. Well, our little Murphy had one of those days, and ended up in a Tennessee shelter - with both of his front legs broken. The shelter contacted Ratbone, and that's when the work to save Murphy began.

First our Tennessee Rescue Coordinator Kathy Berkheimer arranged to drive to a small town west of Nashville to pick up Murphy. She also contacted ARF: Animal Rescue Flights, an organization of pilots who help save the lives of rescued animals by flying them to safety. ARF's founder Clark Burgard (aka Flying Dutchman) lined up pilots who were willing to take little Murphy down to Florida, where he could be seen by the wonderful vets at Affiliated Veterinary Services in Orange Park, Florida.

The first "leg" of the flight was handled by William Coirier and Robert Hartung of Madison, AL. They actually rented a plane to fly up to John C Tune Airport in Nashville, TN to pick Murphy up! They then flew him to a small airport near Atlanta , GA where they met Lyle Prouse (Stockbridge, GA). Lyle flew Murphy to the airport in Leesburg , FL – where he met Ratbone's own Mary Kay Lavin, who will be Murphy's foster mom as he recovers.

Lyle was so taken with Murphy that he sent an email to Mary Kay after his return home: "Please keep me closely informed as to how Murphy does tomorrow with the surgery and what his prognosis looks like. Gosh, he's a sweet little guy!! It was a wonderful experience being able to participate in such a grand and noble endeavor. Blue skies, Lyle"

Little Murphy Ratbone is in for a long recovery. Both the radius and ulna (two bones in the lower part of his front legs) are broken. The orthopedic surgeon has splinted both legs, and we're hoping that Murphy can heal without surgery. The initial bill was almost $700, and Murphy will require splint changes (and possible sedation) every 7 to 10 days for the next 3 months - which could cost an additional $100-200 per visit.

Right now Murphy is recuperating with our own Samantha Paull in Jacksonville, FL - at least until after his first recheck & splint change.

To see more photos of little Murphy Ratbone, please check out his album.

***Please be sure to include an e-mail address, so that we can send you an acknowledgement***

Send check or money order to:
Ratbone Rescues
P.O. Box 3237
Seminole, FL 33775-3237


New York

Piper Blu




Patty Smith

Some of you may have met Patty at the Southeast Ratbone Reunion in April. She did a great job of organizing this fun event. For those that didn't have the pleasure, here's your chance to learn a little more about another dedicated Ratbone volunteer.

Patty grew up Washington DC but now she lives out in the country in Georgia. She grew up with big dogs and even showed Rottweilers in obedience. She is a licensed veterinary technician as well as a professional dog groomer; however, her current vocation is an aquarium store owner.

About 15 years ago Patty met her first rat terrier at a flea market. It was love at first sight with this itty bitty dog with a big dog personality. Prior to this, Patty didn't even think she liked small dogs. Her first rattie changed her opinion because it wasn't shaky or scared. It wasn't long before she wanted another one but rat terriers were rare in her area and she had to drive 7 hours to find a breeder. Since that time she's owned 8 rat terriers.

After the death of her beloved dog Spot, she turned to Ratbone to adopt two special needs dogs. She had nursed several ratties in their final years and wanted to help other dogs that no one else wanted. She said she was treated so well by the group that she wanted to join and help rat terriers in need.

If you attended the reunion you surely met her boy Shrimp – he was the life of the party. Patty came to own Shrimp when an county animal control officer decided he didn't want his dog any longer and was going to surrender him. Someone who knew Patty liked "those little spotted dogs" called her to let her know that this wonderful dog needed a good home.

Patty is not new to rescue. Prior to Ratbone she was involved with both pet & wildlife rescue for 20 years. She came up with the idea of organizing a reunion for adopters and supporters as a way to help Ratbone raise funds to continue helping dogs in needed. She also thought it would be fun to get together, meet the folks you worked with but never met, and for the dogs to hang out for the day.

Eddie and Daisey are still recovering from their vacation that required 4 days of car travel. They are unable to write their column but promise plenty of vacation news next month.


NO, mom, I DON'T want to go show my friends my new "outfit"!



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Back-to-School Tips for Families with Dogs

I know, it is just July, still the middle of summer but do you realize many schools resume sessions in August, just a few weeks from now. With the kids heading back to classes, here are some suggestions to help families avoid behavior problems with their dogs that often accompany this time of transition.

When kids go back to school, the stress can be hard on the whole family, including the dog. Dogs are creatures of habit. This abrupt change in routine can seriously affect our furry friends but with a little understanding and preparation before the first day of class, families can avoid many of the back-to-school behavior problems their dogs might display.

Separation Anxiety
With everyone gone to work or school during the day, dogs left alone can become stressed, often resulting in destructive behaviors and endless barking. These tips can help reduce the potential anxiety of separation.

Pay less attention to your dog: While your dog may be the center of attention when the kids are home all day, you need to change this scenario before they return to school so that your dog can adjust more quickly to the quiet time. About a week before school starts, pay increasingly less attention to your dog each day.

Start early: A few weeks before your children return to school, get your dog used to being alone. Begin by separating him from the kids and the rest of the family. For example, if you frequently take your dog with you to run errands or visit friends, leave him home.

Practice leaving the house: Go through the motions of leaving the house. Go out the door, but then come right back in again. The dog will cease associating the routine of your leaving the house with your departure. This will help him to be more relaxed when you actually leave.

When you do leave: As the last person leaves the house for the day, don't confuse your dog be saying in a sweet voice, "It's okay, Buster – we'll be home soon. Be a good boy." If he is feeling concerned that you're leaving, your happy, high-pitched voice can make him think it's okay to feel anxious. Dogs are pack animals and so they expect their leaders to be strong when they leave the pack. Therefore, ignore your dog for about 10 minutes before you leave.

Dogs sleep a lot during the day, but when they wake up, they want something to do. It doesn't take much to entertain a dog, even when you're not a home.

Toys: Dogs love toys, but they can quickly get bored with or destroy them. Buy high-quality, virtually indestructible puzzle toys that your dog will always enjoy, such as those that hold treats/food, like the Buster Cube or KONG. Every few days, rotate what toys are available to him. This gives your dog something new and fun to hold his interest. Remember, be patient, it is trying for them, too! Happy Dogs – Happy Families!

Submitted by Terry Nickerson, Canine Behavior Therapist and owner of Bark Busters of Brevard. You can reach Terry at 1-977-500-BARK or visit her company's website at www.Barkbusters.com.

Its hard to believe looking back 12 weeks ago that Bill has come as far as he has come. 12 weeks ago he was laying in a shelter in Miami with a shattered pelvis and a badly broken back leg. After his orthepedic surgery in Jacksonville and 8 weeks of cage rest , little Bill is back 100 percent.

He is now romping and playing with everyone here at the house. He doesnt even limp. Life is a joy to Bill and he is always smiling and trying to get someone to play chase or wrestle with him. He still is the most loving and kind hearted dog i have met in a long time. Bill now has an approval on him for adoption and will go to his forever home soon. The lucky family that is getting Bill is getting one special dog.


Eddie and Daisey are still recovering from their vacation that required 4 days of car travel. They are unable to write their column but promise plenty of vacation news next month.


Ratbone Leaks

If you read our June issue, you know our 2011 Ratbone quilt is in the works. Since the last leak, the quilt blocks have all been sewn together and have been delivered to the quilter. Personal opinion, the quilt is going to be beautiful! This month, we are leaking a corner of the sewn top of the quilt. There are 5 different holidays represented in this corner.

Can you figure out what all of them are? Remember, you can always check our website, Facebook, Twitter or our blog for more peeks and be sure to watch for the full reveal in August.

Ratbone's Seniors For Seniors Program

Meet our first "senior adoption" in our Seniors for Seniors program. The adopter is Roger Schaefer of Largo, FL and the adoptee is Bitsy Lu Ratbone formerly of Jacksonville, FL..

Through the generosity of a patron donor, Ratbone was able to start the "Seniors for Seniors" program giving a second chance to our senior dogs while giving joy and a purpose to our senior citizens.

Roger recently lost his little Maltese and was just heartbroken. Although he is 88 years old, he enjoyed the walks and the company his dog was for him. Roger is a retired Army veteran who served in WWII, Korea and Viet Nam so sitting around doing nothing is not a way of life for him. He needed another dog and yet a puppy or a young dog would not have been good for him. He wanted a quiet, cuddly little dog. He was shown a picture of Bitsy Lu and it was love at first sight.

Bitsy is 8 years old and is a very sweet little girl. She was with our FM Samantha Pall in Jacksonville and waiting patiently for the right forever home. She is only 8 lbs and has 3 legs due to an prior accident. She took to Roger right away and made his house hers by the end of the first day. She sits on her own chair and watches TV with Roger and when he goes to bed at night, she's right there with him.

This was the perfect match and hopefully the first of many more. Our Seniors for Seniors Program is sure to be a great success and Roger and Bitsy are proof that for everyone there is a dog just waiting to be adopted.






Ratbone Rescues is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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P.O. Box 3237
Seminole, FL 33775-3237

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